June 11, 2014 South Carolina Supreme Court published opinions

McCoy v Greenwave Enterprises, Inc. 

McCoy sued Greenwave alleging damage from a petroleum release. Greenwave sued the prior owner seeking equitable indemnification for attorney fees. The trail court denied the motion. The Court reversed. It held that because the actions of the prior owner held to the suit by the McCoy’s and attorney fees were the natural consequence of the third party suit, it was appropriate to grant an award of attorney fees here given the sale agreement between Greenwave and the prior owner.

5 Star, Inc v Ford Motor Company 

5 Star obtained a judgment against Ford based on negligent design. The Court of Appeals held 5 Star’s expert should not have been qualified and reversed. The Court reversed. It held that the expert’s education, prior qualification as an expert and experience with car components war sufficient to qualify him as an expert. It also held that his testimony created a jury question about breach of duty as the principles relied upon (that always flowing current is less safe than current off when the ignition is off, that using a fuse which will allow fire to occur is less safe than one that will not and electricity next to flammable liquid is a fire hazard) were know to high school students and Ford’s engineers should have known the design was flawed. The case was remanded to consider ford’s other arguments.

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